Christian Adventures in Lifelong Learning CALL

Courses 

Weeklong Classes:

Christian Apologetics: The Evidence for God - Dr. James Spiegel

Popular atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris insist that belief in God is not based on good evidence but is simply irrational faith.  Does this claim have any merit?  In these sessions we will look at several categories of evidence for God, including the contingency of the universe, cosmic “fine-tuning,” the fact of consciousness, and the need to account for objective moral values.  But if there is indeed good evidence for God, then why are there atheists?  We will answer this question by looking closely at the biblical account of atheism, which suggests that unbelief is not due to any ambiguity of evidence for God but rather is the result of sin and willful denial of the truth.

New Testament Theology: In Search of the Historical Peter - Dr. Larry Helyer

What exactly can be known about the Apostle Peter?  From the Gospels, the Book of Acts, Paul's Letters, and the canonical epistles attributed to Peter, a portrait of this extraordinary early Christian leader is reconstructed.  Attention will also be given to the traditions and legends that later grew up around this towering figure.  Our objective is not only to be informed but to be personally challenge with the significance of Peter's life and thought for us in the 21st century.

Elective Classes:

U.S. History : The 1960s - Dr. Tom Jones

The United States appeared to be at the tipping point frequently during the 1960s.  A spirit of uneasiness and anxiety made it seem as though the nation was always on “the eve of destruction” (apologies to Barry McGuire).  The United States was divided to a degree not experienced since the Great Depression or the epic Civil War.  The war in Vietnam, expansion of Communism in Latin America and Africa, and riots in the nation’s major cities and on university campuses across the country all contributed to a spirit of pessimism and cynicism about America’s future.  Furthermore, it seemed as though there were no leaders capable of uniting the country.  It was a critical decade in which the soul of a nation was tested.  So did the U.S. pass the test?

Flannery O'Connor's Fiction - Dr. Nancy Dayton

Flannery O’Connor once said, “All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.”  Her catalogue of characters continues to intrigue readers, despite their distortions and flaws.  She presents her readers with “grotesques” who attempt to convince themselves that they are set apart from the world around them.  However, O’Connor does not allow them to occupy such a position of self-satisfaction and she surprises them with the reality of grace that they cannot ignore.  We will discuss four of O’Connor’s short stories as well as some excerpts from her critical work.

Views on Biological Origins - Dr. Joel Bryan

Is life on earth the result of pure chance and accident, or did life develop as the intentional result of a supreme deity?  Is the Genesis account of creation historically and scientifically accurate, or is it simply an allegorical tale of birth, sin, and the hope for redemption?  Passionate debate concerning the origin and development of life not only rages between neo-Darwinists and Biblical creationists but also engulfs the Christian community.  These sessions will present an overview of the most common views pertaining to the origin and development of life, including neo-Darwinism, intelligent design, young earth creationism, and progressive creationism, as well as other less commonly known Christian interpretations.

Fractals and Infinity - Dr. Matt DeLong

Infinity has intrigued theologians, philosophers and mathematicians for millennia.  The foundations of mathematics shook in the 19th century when Cantor, a devout Christian, proved counterintuitive results showing that there is more to infinity than previously imagined.  In the first session, we will study how the simple act of counting can take us, in the immortal words of Buzz Lightyear, “to infinity and beyond.”

In the 20th century, Mandelbrot similarly challenged well-accepted notions of geometry with his discovery of fractals.  Nature, it turns out, obeys a geometry that is infinitely stranger and more interesting than previously thought.  In the second session, we will study how simple repetition can yield beautiful geometric objects of infinite intricacy.

Optional Field Trips and Activities

  • Taylor Campus Tour - Admissions Staff
  • James Dean Tour - Dr. James Spiegel
  • Retirement Planning - Dr. Ben Sells
  • Michael Faraday and Electrical Engineering - Dr. Joel Bryan
  • Golf at Walnut Creek
  • Harrison Center Art Museum in Indianapolis
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps Baseball